The NFC East is supposed to be extremely tight once again this year. Bovada in Las Vegas predicts that all four teams in the division will win between seven and nine games. With that in mind, you can make perfectly reasonable arguments in favor of the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins finishing first, or last, in a division that has come down to the wire in each of the last four years.
Let's do exactly that for the Giants, starting with the glass-half-full perspective...
ON THE OTHER HAND: WHY THE GIANTS WILL FINISH DEAD LAST IN THE NFC EAST IN 2013
2012 was an anomaly
The Giants scored 85 more points than they allowed, which was tops in the division by a wide margin. Only three teams averaged more yards per play on offense, and—believe it or not—only five NFC teams allowed fewer points on defense. Their plus-14 turnover ratio was the fourth-best in football. Only one other team above plus-three in that category missed the playoffs. New York might not gave gotten a whole lot better this offseason, but it certainly didn't get a lot worse. You have to believe that a similar showing in 2013 will naturally result in more wins.
The NFL's best coach simply has resolve. The last time his Giants finished second in the division and just short of the playoffs, they followed it up with a Super Bowl victory. There are a lot of people down on this team after Eli Manning and Jason Pierre-Paul failed to be superheroes in 2012, but the Giants seem to be at their best in situations like these. As long as Coughlin's running things, you have to expect Big Blue to be in contention.
The Redskins and Cowboys were handcuffed in the offseason
New York didn't have a lot of money to spend and was even forced to part ways with some quality veteran players, but the division-rival 'Skins and Cowboys were barely able to lift a finger in free agency while carrying league-imposed cap sanctions into the offseason. The Giants were at least able to replace everyone they lost while arguably upgrading with top pick Justin Pugh at right tackle. Washington didn't have a first-round pick, and Dallas signed just two free agents while losing a pair of defensive starters. These three teams were bunched together last year, which means the Giants might have moved ahead now.